Tobacco smuggling between Canada-U.S. results in 25 arrests
Contraband tobacco network linked to Mafia and aboriginal organized crime, police say
Quebec provincial police, along with the RCMP and Canadian and U.S. border police services, have arrested 25 people, seized 18 guns and 10 vehicles as they work to dismantle a contraband tobacco ring linked to organized crime.
Four-hundred police officers executed search warrants and made arrests this morning on the island of Montreal and in Dundee, about 100 kilometres southwest of Montreal, near the border of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve.
Police said the illegal network has links to the Mafia and aboriginal organized crime.
Authorities allege members of the Mafia bought tobacco in the U.S. and smuggled it into Canada illegally through the Lacolle border or the Akwesasne region.
According to police, members of aboriginal organized crime groups helped the Mafia import the tobacco and sell it on the territory of Kahnawake.
Police have seized 40,000 kilograms of tobacco worth $7 million on the black market.
Investigators also seized more than $450,000 in cash.